Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: Thyme

Herbs – Parsley, Sage and Thyme

Inspired by Gardeners World I have sown a pot of mixed herbs. Just one large pot. The lady on TV had plenty of ready grown herbs and was potting them up into a large container. Expensive, instant herb garden. I only had a ten-inch pot and a few old seed packets plus a new bag of multi-purpose compost. I have searched through my seedbox and I don’t have any Rosemary seeds to make up the foursome.

The seeds are sown and now on the window ledge. I have watered them and enclosed the pot in a polythene bag to preserve the moisture. I estimate that germination should take place between two and four weeks.

Sage Broad Leaved

The perennial broad leaved variety of Sage that I have sown takes a little longer to germinate. I have grown this variety before at the allotment and as I remember it formed a beautiful shrubby bush with downy grey-green leaves and purple flowers. The taste is strong and distinctive and the aroma is wonderful. I will be happy if I manage to get one bush for the garden as the seeds are quite old.

The leaves of this herb are usually mixed with onion and breadcrumbs to make a delicious stuffing for pork or chicken. However, its unique taste and aroma enhance the flavour of many dishes.

Sage

Only seven days have passed and already many green shoots have appeared.

Parsley Italian Giant

Parsley comes in two main types, flat leaved and curly leaved. The seeds I had are of a flat-leaved variety and are the ones I prefer to use in cooking. The variety that I have sown is Italian Giant. This parsley has a distinctive flavour and is good with fish, salads and soups. It is easy to grow indoors or outdoors, as it is very hardy with good frost resistance.

Flat Parsley

Thyme English Winter

The variety of Thyme I have sown is English Winter. Thymus Vulgaris is a hardy evergreen perennial with dark green leaves that are followed by clusters of small pink flowers. This herb hails from the Mediterranean and can be picked all year round. The active ingredient in the leaves is Thymol which lends the herb its strong flavour and antiseptic properties. Thyme is used in cooking to flavour meat and stews. It is the classic herb used in bouquet garni and enhances the taste of most meats.

Thyme

In addition to livening up the flavour of food, the thyme plant is also the source of thyme essential oil. Thyme oil has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It is commonly used as a preservative in foods, cosmetics, and toiletries.

Thyme and Thyme Again

ThymeThymus Vulgaris

I sowed two pots of Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) today and left them in the lean to germinate. Thyme has always been associated with strength and happiness. In the Middle Ages it was a symbol of courage and sprigs of it were embroidered onto the clothes of crusaders. It has always been valued for its antiseptic qualities which come from the thymol in it.

 

I also sowed a row of Radish Icicle in the cucumber bed in the lean to. All the runner beans that have been germinated in pots at home are now in place in the bean trench. I am a little disappointed as they had gone very leggy and I think that next year I shall either sow directly in the place they are to grow or sow in pots later and plant when the seedling are smaller. I have tried this with the bean Cobra from seed which I saved from last year. I sowed about ten at the end of the bean trench. Rob planted the very last of our bought seed potatoes, namely Pink Fir Apple and Cara, on plot 18.

pink fir apple

Pink Fir Apple is a waxy potato originally imported in 1850 and kept solely by British enthusiasts for decades, because of its very fine flavour. The tubers are long and narrow and famously knobbly, often with side growths. The skin is part pink/part white. The flesh is yellow. Very good when thinly sliced, and gently fried with butter, garlic and onion until potatoes are soft and golden brown. The waxy texture of Pink Fir Apple makes a perfect salad. Cook potatoes whole, then cool and slice. Mix with spring onions, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.